Friday, November 11, 2005

Church vs State: a "War" with Christianity

Church vs State: a "War" with Christianity
"The Canadian regime … is trying to reshape Canadian souls." Joe Woodard in an article posted on identified what he sees as some trends that will set the course for what we can expect to see in the secular media about Christianity during the next decade. [This was first presented to a conference of the Centre for Faith and the Media, held from October 21-22, 2005, in Ottawa.]
… the official Canadian ideology of multiculturalism is just that: Ideology, or "propaganda masquerading as fact."

Over the next decade, two types of news story will come into increasing prominence in the mainstream media's coverage of religion in Canada.

The most certain stories will focus on
1) Conflict between "Church and State," understood in a broad sense as the fight between Canada's now-marginalized but popular faith in Christianity, and an official ideology of "multiculturalism."

A second emerging story is the
2) Christian Revival in Canada, the new (and for many inexplicable) popularity of resurgent Christianity among Generation-X and Gen-Y.

Two other types of stories will still play prominent roles, because of the sympathies of the mainstream media:
3) Exploring non-Christian beliefs, in support of multiculturalism; and

4) Celebrating "spirituality" as distinct from "organized religion," pushing the privatization of religious faith, the secularization of public life and dissent within organized Christianity.

click here for the full story

We may not like where Canada seems to be heading politically or socially. We may disagree with Woodard's analysis. We may be frustrated with the system. But the solution is not to sit and stew, or grumble under our breath. For far too long, too many evangelicals and too many evangelical churches have said nothing, have not encouraged political involvement, have not spoken up on behalf the voiceless, have not spoken up against systemic injustice.

Martin Niemoller was a decorated u-boat captain in the First World War but subsequently became a minister of religion and a relatively high profile opponent of the Nazis as they increasingly gained firm hold of the reins to power in Germany.

Niemoeller was active as a leader in a so-called Pastors' Emergency League and in a Synod that denounced the abuses of the dictatorship in the famous "Six Articles of Barmen." Such activities finally led to his arrest on 1 July 1937. When the subsequent court appearance was followed by his release with only a modest 'slap on the wrist' Hitler personally ordered his incarceration with the result that Niemoeller remained in concentration camp, including long periods of solitary confinement, until the end of the war.

Niemoller occasionally traveled internationally after the war and delivered many speeches and sermons in which he confessed of his own blindness and inaction in earlier years when the Nazi regime rounded up the communists, socialists, trade unionists, and, finally, the Jews.

In this regard he framed the now famous quotation:
First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me--
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

or as another translation puts it
When the Nazis came for the communists, I said nothing; I was, of course, no communist.
When they locked up the Social Democrats, I said nothing; I was, of course, no Social Democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists, I said nothing; I was, of course, no trade unionist.
When they came for me, there was no one left who could protest.

Do we remain quiet? Do we sit in ease? Or do we let our voice be heard?

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